Soda and wood-firing potter, and adjunct professor, making primarily functional ware.
What inspires the imagery for your Mishima carving?
"I have a number of sources of inspiration. I love to garden, so I use a lot of floral imagery. I am fascinated by textile design and graphic design as well, and often find myself using patterns I see in fabric or a random online design as a starting point for a design to carve."
At what stage do you do the Mishima carving?
"I do my carving at leather-hard. I feel like there are a few stages of leather hard, so I would say it’s more of a hard leather hard (parmesan cheese, not cheddar)."
What tools do you use to do the carving?
"Initially, I tried using an Exacto blade. Kudos to those who have success with this tool. I couldn’t manage to get the curves I wanted using it.
After trying numerous already existing tools, and not getting the line quality I wanted, I researched a number of metal tips in multiple industries for all types of purposes. I settled on one I really liked. I was excited that the tip was threaded and could be replaced without replacing the whole tool. I then asked my friend, master tool-maker Troy Bungart, if he would collaborate on a custom tool for me. After sending back and forth a few revisions, we came up with one I really like. I will be selling them at The Roomshow at NCECA in Richmond. You can also contact me to order one directly."
Why do you like Mishima in soda firing?
"My designs, and my work, tend to be fairly controlled. I like using Mishima in soda, because it partially bleeds the inlaid underglaze onto the surface of the work in unexpected ways. Sometimes, it will leave an outline around my carved imagery. I think the atmosphere helps loosen my otherwise tightly controlled work."
What are the advantages of Mishima in light or heavy soda application, and which do you prefer?
"I like both for different reasons. Light soda preserves more of my designs while still offering some softness to the line, which can be really striking. If I spend a lot of time on an overall design, it may be preferable.
Heavy soda may even obscure parts of my design. That said, I love the contrast of heavy directionally applied soda. I can stack my work to ensure that the parts of the work I want to receive the most soda do when firing this way. This allows me to get the best of both worlds, by having a heavy juicy gray soda side and a lighter, orange flashed side. My goal in these effects is to mimic the way sunlight, just before sunset, creates long heavy gray shadows while illuminating surfaces still in its path."
Take me to the Archive of Soda Fire Blogs
Denise's Flashing Slips
Denise's Clay Bodies
Here on my blog I share behind the scenes, events, and activities related to my art.
Behind The Scenes
Coffee + Tea
Flowers + Plants
New Art Work
Pots In Use
Seasons + Holidays
Travel + Art